Be direct and to the point when instructing the user. Avoid longwinded lead-ins:

     ✔ Call (08) 8999 5437 and ask for the form.
     X You can obtain an application form by telephoning departmental staff on (08) 8999 5437.

When giving instructions the main action comes first:

     ✔ Submit the form at a customer service centre.
     X Visit a customer service centre to lodge your form.

If the user is required to do something, by law or as part of the administrative process, use ‘must’. If the action is recommended use ‘should’. Read more about legal language and legislation.

Instructions that are grouped together or form part of a process should be written as a step-by-step guide.

Last updated: 28 November 2017